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Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes

| Monday, March 24, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Fair assessments: Our school boards complain about the lack of funding, but don't do anything to make sure property assessments are fair. VND research found some districts compare sales prices with assessments and if they're badly out of line, appeal the assessment. But our story Sunday showed most never do this. Everyone should pay his fair share. Too bad many boards don't care about that. But the real issue here remains a faulty assessment system in all four of our counties, where politicians have perverted the assessment process. This is particularly true in Westmoreland and Butler counties; it's been more than 40 years since each reassessed.

Allergies: If anyone is looking for one more reason to complain about our rotten winter, here it is. Even though winter's over (supposedly), the immense wetness and warmer weather mean this year's allergy season will be way worse than normal. It's already underway and will last well into June.

Boo-hoo-hoo: Customers of Highmark Inc., the health insurance giant, learned over the weekend that last year's combined total compensation for the “nonprofit's” CEO, William Winkenwerder, was $4.3 million — not including retirement or those ubiquitous “deferred payments.” Nine other Highmark employees made more than $1 million each. One compensation consultant says Mr. W. actually runs a company twice as big for half the pay when compared to “for-profit” companies. Pass the tissues.

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